Dog beaten so badly his head caved in gave rescuers adorable sign after surgery

Bruce the Bull Lurcher suffered horrific injuries when he was beaten so badly his head caved in.

The adorable dog had been beaten and even set on fire before he was dumped in the street in a sleepy village just outside Carlisle in Cumbria.

Bruce's horrifying story will feature on tonight's The Dog Rescuers on Channel 5.

Heartbreakingly, Bruce had spent several days wandering the streets in agony before he was finally found and rushed to the vet.

Bruce's life was saved by staff at the Ashlea Veterinary Centre in Carlisle, who described it as the worst cruelty case they had ever seen.



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He was suffering from multiple fractures to his skull, his head as "caved in", his eye was hanging out and he had burns all over his back.

Poor Bruce was also dangerously underweight and staff had no choice but to remove his eye.

RSPCA inspector Sam Morris said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked at what I saw. I’ve worked for the RSPCA for 10 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that awful.

"We know Bruce had been in that condition for a number of days before he got the vet treatment he needed.

"The pain that he must have been in is unimaginable. He was losing the will to carry on."


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The crossbreed had a deep hole in the top of his skull and puncture wounds in the side of his face – thought to have been caused by being beaten with a bit of wood with a nailing sticking out – and burns around his tail. 

Sam added: "You really question what kind of person could do this.

"Vets said the side of his face had been caved in and described the damage to his skull as dramatic."

Bruce needed three-and-a-half hours of emergency surgery to repair his fractured skull.

He also had to be treated for an infection in his head, which had been caused by splinters from the wood used to beat him.



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Bruce's skull had been shattered and the critically ill dog couldn't even open his jaw.

But nothing could keep Bruce down, who was good natured, friendly and happy even when he was in extreme pain.

Sam said: "Bruce is a fighter. As soon as he woke up from the surgery his tail was wagging."

And months after his ordeal, Bruce finally found a loving home with Marie Coleman.

She was working at the vets when he was brought in with his terrible injuries and says it was love at first sight.

As soon as he was well enough, Marie fostered Bruce and has now adopted him.

She said: "He is so special. Bruce is 100 per cent happy in life and he’s made our lives 100 per cent better."

  • To help the RSPCA continue rescuing dogs like Bruce and investigating animal cruelty please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give .
  • Bruce's story will be on The Dog Rescuers on Channel 5 at 7pm tonight.

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